I can’t say, she said, exactly what the attraction is, but it’s there.
Octavia and Jorge had been together for some time now, and all anybody knew of them was fighting, and then passion, and then great periods of indolence.
Jorge, one day, put himself in the bathroom and said that he would not come out. He had read a book by Jean-Philippe Toussaint and, inspired, had locked himself in the bathroom and wouldn’t come out. Octavia was less than impressed, and elected to ignore him for the length of time it would take until he came to his senses and came back to a semblance of normalcy.
But Jorge did not remove himself from the bathroom. He had with him his mobile phone, a charger, and the ill-will necessary to call up for and arrange tradespeople, cooks, catered events, consultations, fittings. Octavia didn’t know what to make of any of this, and her primary concern soon became the fact that they shared credit cards and bank accounts.
Jorge read. He read Perec. He read Queneau. He read Sartre, grudgingly, and he read and admired Camus. He read Proust and hated him. He read Gide and Rolland and loved them both; he loved Balzac, Hugo, Stendhal, Flaubert. He considered, briefly, becoming a discipline of Daudet. He detested Celine. He enjoyed Simenon. And? And? And?
Two weeks later he emerged. He had read so much, and caused a lot of mischief. Octavia was gone. The books remained. The refrigerator was empty. The oven was cold.
* * *
The above piece of writing comprises part of my fragments project, some of which are available on this website. I intend to add new fragments piecemeal, not in any particular order, and as the occasion take me.